Thursday 6 March 2014

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review


Bestselling author Diane Chamberlain delivers a breakout book about a small southern town fifty years ago, and the darkest—and most hopeful—places in the human heart

After losing her parents, fifteen-year-old Ivy Hart is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew as tenants on a small tobacco farm.  As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she doesn’t realize just how much her help is needed.  She quickly becomes emotionally invested in her clients' lives, causing tension with her boss and her new husband.  But as Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm—secrets much darker than she would have guessed.  Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing the battle against everything she believes is wrong.

Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, Necessary Lies tells the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy.  Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?


This is the first book that I have read by Diane Chamberlain, and it certainly will not be my last! The writing was absolutely stunning. I got so immersed in this story that I didn't want it to end, however, the ending was perfection. 

The setting that she describes puts you right there with the characters in their homes, and their work environment, and it is not all roses and sunshine. You really get a feel for what it was like back then and just how hard things really were for a lot of people.

The characters are flawless, and the way that she was able to switch points of view between the two main characters and give each their own distinctive voice was something that I have not read in a long time. Everything from the way that they walked, talked etc was different from one another but each was so fascinating at the same time, I just cannot sing enough praise for this novel.

I have read a few novels set in the same time period, however, nothing that included the governments sterilization project and this was so moving as even though this is a work of fiction, these things really did happen, and it just makes me so sad that someone would or could be tricked in to something like that and having all of their rights taken away from them is just sickening.

If you are looking for something that will move you and make you think about how lucky we really do have it these days, this is for sure the book for you, it is an incredible piece of art is the only way for me to explain it, absolute 5/5!

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